& cplSiteName &

Apple Eyes VoLTE as 4G Voice Gets Real

Dan Jones
8/20/2014
50%
50%

Apple appears to be gearing up for high-definition voice-over-LTE (HD VoLTE) support in future mobile products

The company is currently advertising for a cellular systems protocol engineer, calling for experience with "VoLTE" and "IMS." Other positions are calling for experience with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol.

VoLTE uses SIP to initiate the 4G calls, which are transmitted in data packets, with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) in the core network controlling the call session. There's a useful primer on how this all works here.

Apple is also looking for a senior baseband engineer to work on "cutting-edge" audio for its devices, which will include the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech compression codec, which is part of the VoLTE specification. The engineer will help to "implement, port, and deploy AMR-WB, AMR-NB, CELP, EVRC-B, EVRC, EVS Vocoders, and Jitter Buffers on Mobile devices," according to the ad.


Keep up with all the VoLTE news on our dedicated channel here on Light Reading.


The VoLTE timing could make sense for the iPhone 6, which is expected to be unveiled in September, since Apple's largest US carrier partners are launching limited service now or are expected to go live with VoLTE on their networks later this year.

"We will be launching VoLTE very soon here toward the tail end of this year," Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said earlier in August. (See Verizon VoLTE Testing Spotted.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has VoLTE up in parts of four states in the US. (See T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE.)

Of the four largest US carriers, only T-Mobile US Inc. has HD VoLTE available across its network. (See T-Mobile Expands VoLTE, Gets Going with 700MHz 4G.)

So far, 66 service providers spanning 35 countries have invested in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, with 10 operators in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the US having actually launched an HD VoLTE service. (See VoLTE Gains Velocity: GSA.)

VoLTE specialists Mavenir Systems Inc. recently stated that there are 92 VoLTE-capable devices on the market now, some of which will require a software upgrade to use the technology. "Apple has rumored that iPhone 6 and iOS 8 might both support VoLTE," said Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli on an earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "This will be the first Apple phone to support VoLTE, and its introduction this fall is expected to further the progress of VoLTE."

Apple typically doesn't reveal new features of its devices ahead of launch.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 6:19:24 PM
Does 4 people really count as a line?
Supposedly people are starting to line up at the Apple store ahead of the expected iPhone 6 launch:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/03/line-forms-at-5th-ave-apple-store-6-days-ahead-of-expected-iphone-announcement
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 6:38:28 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
We should -- eventually -- be back to 90s landline standards and perhaps better with HD-LTE on AMR-WB! It's available on some devices on T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile calls now and what I've heard of the quality is really good.

Going to be interesting to see how it works between carrier networks though -- eventually!
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:39:22 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
Voice quality on mobile phone calls are in need of an upgrade. I believe that carriers have been laser-focused on keeping up with data demand, to the comic detriment of voice quality.

It's good to see that this is now going to change. 
billsblots
50%
50%
billsblots,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/21/2014 | 4:12:18 PM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
When I clicked "comment" I didn't see a box to type in, so I'll use reply.

Here in Richmond, VA, downtown, the Verizon LTE throughput is horribly bad, normally less than 1 MBps and can never stream any video, and frequently even an audio stream is tough to get started.  As a daily ritual I disable "LTE" on my Verizon devices when I come to work so at least they can chug along a little better in 3G.  Great advertising slogan, "Verizon Wireless, where our 3G is better than our 4G".

I must say outside of the downtown area the VZW LTE is quite a bit better, but nowhere what I've seen in Orange County, CA, and other major metro areas.

So I can imagine trying to pour voice over the same bandwidths and network that is already choked so badly in this area.  Cell phone audio quality is typically bad compared to the very high product we had achieved on land line phones by the 90s, where there was rarely even any pinging, echo, or noticeable delay in trans-Atlantic calls.  But that is the price we pay for mobility and convenience.  But think of this, there are teenagers running around who have never used a landline phone because it was discontinued at home in 2000 and think that all telephone voice service has always been crappy!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 9:53:25 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
You mean LTE-A or VoLTE is for 2015+? Or both?
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 8:41:32 AM
Re: LTE-Advanced & Apple
 

"This is most likley for the 2015+"

Agreed. Many Euro operators plan to have launched VoLTE by next summer so that *if* the 2015 iPhone suports it, they'll be ready. That's the basic timeline that nearly everyone is working on. This driving a lot of activity because of the fear you'll get left behind and out-marketed by competitors.

The voice-over-WiFi capability supposedly coming in this year's iPhone is viewed as a pre-cursor to VoLTE.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/20/2014 | 5:41:37 PM
LTE-Advanced & Apple
Interestingly I couldn't find any mention of LTE-Advanced in the job ads. Not even hidden as the E-UTRA air inteference.

 

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TeliaSonera: Striving for Independence

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Peter Lagergren discusses the importance of decoupling the network from services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ken Wang on U-vMOS

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Ken Wang discusses how video will take of the traffic on carrier networks and become a basic service to provide to end users.
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.